Re: electric meme bombs

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Sat 02 Nov 2002 - 22:20:48 GMT

  • Next message: "There is never pure perception or pure action"

    >----- Original Message -----
    >From: "Grant Callaghan" <>
    > > >What we all forget is that everything and all start as one singularity,
    > > >one cell ! We all see cells working together, they are all inbedded in
    > > >what collective is known as a human being, the one single cell is for-
    > > >gotten ! The interest in one single cell can 't outweight the huge
    > > >plishments of finding out how other cells work together.
    > > >That is my pain !
    > > They work together because they can communicate, just as we do, but in
    > > own chemical language.
    >They started to communicate in order to work together, but that wasn 't the
    >initial ' goal ' of evolution so to speak, communication was just one step
    >on the ladder. The bias was quiet, silent with no words to speak, no
    >cation just spasphem of uncontrolled behavior inducted by stimili and
    >of instinctive processes on the moving of the water where the organism in
    >that time
    >lived in.
    >Only when two of the same kind finally met there was something new...
    I can't speak for the goals of evolution, but even single-celled organisms communicate and some even cooperate. Symbiosis was around before multi-celled animals. Mitocondria established themselves inside larger single cells before the larger cells banded together to become multicelled organisms.

    From Creative Nets in the Precambrian Age

    By Howard Bloom


    Eshel Ben Jacob, at the University of Tel Aviv, and James Shapiro at the University of Chicago have been studying bacterial colonies from a radically original perspective - and have emerged with surprising results. Their findings explain why the ripple effect is a mark of bacterial networking - and of much, much more.


    For generations bacteria have been thought of as lone cells, each making its own way in the world. Ben Jacob and Shapiro, on the other hand, have demonstrated that few, if any, bacteria are hermits. They are extremely social beasts. And undeveloped as their cellular structure might be, their social structure is a wonder. The ripple effect is one manifestation of a colony's coordinated tactics for mastering its environment. We could call it the probe and feast approach.

    A bacterial spore lands on an area rich in food. Using the nutrients into which it has fallen, it reproduces at a dizzying rate. But eventually the initial food patch which gave it its start runs out. Stricken by famine, the individual bacteria, which by now may number in the millions, do not, like the citizens of Athens during the plague of 430 b.c., die off where they lie. Instead these prokaryotes embark on a joint effort aimed at keeping the colony alive.

    The initial progeny of the first spore were sedentary. Being rooted to one spot made sense when that microbit of territory was overflowing with edibles. Now the immobile form these first bacteria assumed is no longer a wise idea. Numerous cells switch gears. Rather than reproducing couch potatoes like themselves, they marshall their remaining resources to produce daughters of an entirely different kind - rambunctious rovers built for movement. Unlike their parents, members of the new generation sport an array of external whips with which they can snake their way across a hard surface or twirl through water. This cohort departs en masse to seek its fortune, expanding ring-like from the base established by its ancestors. The travels of the fortunate lead to yet more food.

    Successful foragers undergo another mass shift. They give birth to daughters as determined to stick to one spot as their grandparents had once been. These stay-at-homes sup on the banquet provided by their new surroundings. Eventually their perch, too, is sucked dry. They then follow bacterial tradition, generating a new swarm of outbound pioneers. Each succession of emigrants leaves behind a circle thinned by its spreading search. And each generation of settlers accumulates in a thick band as it sucks nourishment from its locale. The ripples of ancient stromatolites are proof positive that life three and a half billion years ago already took advantage of social cooperation.

    The work of Ben Jacob and Shapiro has demonstrated that bacterial communities are elaborately interwoven by communication links. Their signalling devices are many: chemical outpourings with which one group transmits its findings to all in its vicinity; fragments of genetic material, each of which spreads a different story from one end of the population to another. And a variety of other devices for long-distance data transmission.

    These turn a colony into a collective processor for sensing danger, for feeling out the environment, and for undergoing - if necessary - radical adaptations to survive and prosper, no matter how tough the challenge. The resulting modular learning machine is so ingenious that Eshel Ben Jacob has called it a "creative net."


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